RIIIIIOOOOOO!!! i love this place sooooooo much! Got here thursday afternoon, checked into our hostel and legged it over to sugar loaf mountain before sunset. I had to cram all the sights of rio into 2days so didnt stop the whole time i was here! Rio is possibly the most gorgeous city i have EVER seen. There is no room for it to expand anymore as all land that could be built on is occupied, the city is surrounded by sea and mountains its gorgeous! You can only picture the city when your looking down on it. Next day we legged it over to Christ the Redeemer statue which towers over Rio. A lot smaller than i thought but still impressive. Didnt seem real that i was standing underneath something ive only seen pictures of. Very busy up there, getting the perfect picture was a challenge but i hopefully conquered it. The majority of time the statue is covered in cloud, it was cloudy on our way up but within half an hour it cleared and there were rbeaking blue skies so was a great view. Sun was shining and i was happy! :) Had to yet again leg it back to my hostel as i was getting picked up to do a tour around the favelas this afternoon, nearly missed it! So i caught the bus back to copacabana where we were staying but i got off a couple of blocks too early, and didnt really have any idea where i was. walked to the road i knew, but couldnt remember whether it was left or right. seriously running out of time at this stage. i asked numerous taxis if they new were a couple of the names of these hostels were and they all said no (rio taxi drivers are RUBBISH even if you give them the street name they have no idea!!!) all i could remember then was where dominoes pizza was! even then we ended up at the wrong place. i decided to get out the cab ad just leg it back to the hostel in the direction i thought it was! luckily i made it with time to spare as i got picked up late...result!Favelas where awesome...one of the best trips ive done in south america. We got mopeds up to the top of the favela, that was an experience, dodging in between two streams of traffic, and as soon as my driver saw open road that was it...he was off!then we walked down through the favela. certain areas we wernt allowed to get cameras out due togangs with guns and things but the majority of the time i felt safe and it was fine. they were very very dirty and heaps of rubbish everywhere decomposing in the heat, and sewage water flowing down the paths. hundreds of electricity cables would be attached to pilons with crocodile clips so that they could get free electricty. same with the water pipes some residents have managed to redirect them into their home so they can get clean water. looking out over the favela we could see hundreds of kites flying, the only space children have to play is on their roof top and kites seemed to be the "in thing" however it would get viscous and the idea was to try and capture the other childs kite so theyd be left with nothing! ADA was graffitied on walls aswell which means friend for friend and was code for drug dealers, if you see this sign you know drugs are available. Drug crime here is HUGE. different roles within the drug seen as well. the most obvious to us whilst walking around was the security. teenage kids would be on walkie talkies outside doorways monitoring who was coming in and out of the favela at all times. Absolutely amazing seeing the favelas for real. 60% of the money we paid to visit goes back into Rocinha (name of the favela we visited), a child day care centre has been built here for families who are working in the city and need someone to look after their children during the day. the children were adorable and so cheeky, even the little ones that couldnt speak! very well behaved though! My last night out travelling was absolutely amazing!!! very drunken but so so good. we went to a street party in lapa, a mixture of locals and tourists. absolutely buzzing, food stalls live music everywhere dancing in the streets and people coming round with shots of tequila! great night. i got pickpocketed three times though, they didnt take anything as i noticed pretty quickly and hit them to go away. we did get warned by the local guys a couple of times though about certain people to watch out for. I met two mates who i travelled with in new zealand for a month as well, which topped my night, as it was so random that i bumbed into them! Ended up coming back to the hostel around 8:30 and heading straight to the airport! there was no water in the hostel so i couldnt even shower before coming home...not nice!!!